Grandmother questions agency's policies after baby's death

Print
Email
|

by Arrianee LeBeau, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on September 18, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 18 at 6:40 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- The grandmother of a 13-month-old boy who reportedly starved to death is asking for reform of the Virginia Beach Department of Human Services.

Shirley Hodges is the paternal grandmother of Devin Barrington Abbott, who was found dead in his bed Nov. 26, 2012.

An autopsy found signs of starvation and dehydration. Devin's ribs and spine protruded, his eyes were sunken and his stomach was empty, the autopsy report said.
 
Hodges says she recently found out Child Protective Services, the human services division that investigates child abuse and neglect complaints, was investigating the baby's mother, Amanda Louise Barrington, after they received six neglect complaints regarding Devin and his older brother prior to Devin's death.

"I'd like to see reform where the family is notified. My son wasn't even aware that there was a case open for his son," Hodges said. 

Barrington was arrested Friday and charged with felony child neglect in connection to her son's death.
 
The death came as the department was amid changes mandated in a scathing state review after the death of another child in 2010.

The department has since reorganized, added staff and changed policies. 

A new director has been hired, Dannette Smith, who says they take all these cases very seriously.

Smith says the agency will now be involving neighbors, teachers and friends in cases like one.

"Make sure that at all times we have as much contact as possible with both the family and people who have substantial relationships with the identified parent," said Smith.

Hodges says she's been begging for accountability and answers for ten months from Child Protective Services. She questions what the agency did in regards to the investigation and how her grandson could have died if his mother was being investigated.
 
Hodges wants the agency to take responsibility for the way it has handled previous cases and do more to protect kids.

"It's been heartbreaking.  My heart has been broken because it didn't have to happen," Hodges said.
 

Print
Email
|